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Beerworks President's Sierra American Pale Ale review

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GhostShip

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Sierra1.jpg


Kit contents:
3kg extract.
650g brewing sugar.
20g US West Coast beer yeast.
50g Citra hops.
150g priming sugar.
Muslin bag.

Sierra2.jpg


Brew day was Saturday 27th April 2019.

Brewed to 23L, using Tesco Ashbeck mineral water. Added 250g light spray malt.

Used kit yeast (20g West Coast beer yeast).

50g citra hops (supplied with kit) added on 2nd May. As per kit instructions, mixed with 500ml boiling water, crushed with a knife and spooned into the FV (leaving any hop debris behind).

Batch primed in barrel using sugar supplied with kit (150g) and bottled on 7th May. Put into the brew fridge at 21ºC.

Fridge switched to cold on 22nd May.

Moved to outdoor shed on 6th June.

First pint - 28th June 2019.

Sierra3.jpg


Beautiful golden colour with a nice head and perfect carbonation. Nice bitterness with a subtle hop aroma and taste. The best kit I've ever done is the Young's AIPA, but this is pushing it close - if I had one complaint, it's that the hop aroma and taste could be a bit stronger and more conditioning time is not going to change that. Other than the addition of the light spraymalt, I followed the kit instructions to the letter, so if I do it again, I may leave the hops in for an extra couple of days. My complaint is a minor one though - it's a really lovely beer and I'd highly recommend this to anyone who likes golden/craft ales.

@Chippy_Tea I searched the reviews thread but couldn't find this one - could you add it to the A-Z please? Thank you!
 

Graz

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I made a few Beerworks kits and every one of the has been pretty top notch. Haven't done the above but will do at some point.

With regard to the dry hopping I've always found I had a better hop aroma and taste when I've left the hops in for less time rather than more. The compounds imparted from the hops are fairly volatile so if left too long before kegging / bottling may get driven out of the beer. I tend to give it two days at brewing temperature, then cold crash for 24 hours, then package it.
 

GhostShip

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Put a few bottles of this brew in the fridge last night for the weekend. Came in tonight gasping for a beer. The first two were fantastic, but I knew there was something wrong with the third as soon as I opened it. There was no ‘hiss’ at all. Nothing. When I poured it, I could see it was flat, but the real surprise came when I tasted it. It was horrible.

Obviously a leak in the bottle - either I hadn’t put the lid on properly or it was just a bad fit. Either way, I assume I have just experienced oxidation. It was completely undrinkable.

I’m very pleased to report that bottle four was every bit as good as bottles one and two.
 

GhostShip

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Had three pints of this last night and another three tonight. If anything, it’s got better. Crystal clear, perfectly carbonated and a lovely golden colour. Perfect bitterness with a nice, fruity finish. If I was served this in a pub (which is always my acid test), I’d be delighted. Will definitely investigate other Beerworks kits. Right up there with Young’s AIPA.
 

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The first one of the range I tried was the Yorkshire bitter and to be honest I wasn't that impressed. This beastie is another matter though, excellent beer acheers.

Cheers Tom
 

Dave 666

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Right, just done this kit in the last half hour. As per instructions as usual except again, a very slight underfill, 22.5 litres instead of 23 litres. I know it's an irrelevant under fill on paper, but just my way and allows that very small edge of reaching the target 5.0% abv stated on the box.

Pitched the yeast (US West Coast) at 22°, and surprised to note it was 20g instead of the usual 10g in these kits. But then again as well as the 3kg of liquid malt extract was also 1kg glucose powder included. So I guess with 4kg of fermentatables extra yeast is required.

I note a previous post mentions they had 650g of brewing sugar, so I double checked and I definitely have 1kg glucose powder.

The SG was taken at 22° just before pitching the yeast for which the SG was 1052. Instructions suggest a FG of at least 1010 or less. So even if I only just get the FG 1010 target, that would be over the ABV target at 5.51% abv. Anything lower than 1010 FG then it's going to be well over the 5.0% ABV target. Wander if the included 1kg of glucose powder instead of a previous stated 650g brewing sugar is the reason behind an increased SG reading as no chance half a litre less water would?.
 

GhostShip

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Fairly busy week this one, culminating in a three hour round trip for a Friday afternoon meeting with accompanying Friday evening traffic. Just as well I had a few bottles of my President’s Sierra American Pale Ale in the fridge waiting for me.

If anything, it’s got even better over the last couple of months. On any level, it’s a beautiful pint. Love this one.
 

Dave 666

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The one thing that struck me as I filled up the fv to 22.5 litres was that it looked quite a bit darker than I would have expected for what's a "pale ale", certainly looking darker than my previous lager brew. Time will tell I guess as it is in a large volume and might be just me.
 

GhostShip

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The one thing that struck me as I filled up the fv to 22.5 litres was that it looked quite a bit darker than I would have expected for what's a "pale ale", certainly looking darker than my previous lager brew. Time will tell I guess as it is in a large volume and might be just me.
I'd say the photo I posted at the top of the thread is pretty accurate. It's a light, 'golden' ale. I'm sure once yours has been packaged and clears, it will be absoluetly fine.
 

Dave 666

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So I'm 9 days in and just done the hop addition. Ok I'm hopping on day 9 but the instructions state day 5, but I'm brewing at 16-18° again so a few° lower than the guide so I've added the hop later to account for a slower fermentation period.

But in the past the hops in these kits were always pellets and broke down easy in the hot water. But this time whole hops, 50 grams of whole, sticky lovely smelling Citra hops. So I followed the same instructions all the same as I had no choice, no hop sack big enough to add them via a sack so spooned the few minute soaked whole hops in, the lot floating on the top.

Probably no harm that way as such (though bubbling in the airlock like crazy), except that the hops soaked up over half a litre of water that by default will become part of the brew, hopefully no affect on gravity readings as such final of otherwise despite about close to half litre of extra water?.

Now would these whole hops cause me issues towards the end of the brew as in they will stay floating than sink like the crushed pellets would as it could be a right pain if so trying to keep the hops out come transfer day.

Other than that, took a sample for gravity reading (before adding the hops of cause) and bang on 1020, so the hops will hopefully add both flavour and aroma over the next 10-14 days seeing as it still has a bit to go to get to at least 1010.
 
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GhostShip

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So I'm 9 days in and just done the hop addition. Ok I'm hopping on day 9 but the instructions state day 5, but I'm brewing at 16-18° again so a few° lower than the guide so I've added the hop later to account for a slower fermentation period.

But in the past the hops in these kits were always pellets and broke down easy in the hot water. But this time whole hops, 50 grams of whole, sticky lovely smelling Citra hops. So I followed the same instructions all the same as I had no choice, no hop sack big enough to hand to add them via a sack to spooned the few minute soaked whole hops in, the lot floating on the top.

Probably no harm that way as such (though bubbling in the airlock like crazy), except that the hops soaked up over half a litre of water that by default will become part of the brew, hopefully no affect on gravity readings as such final of otherwise despite about close to half litre of extra water?.

Now would these whole hops cause me issues towards the end of the brew as in they will stay floating than sink like the crushed pellets would as it could be a right pain if so trying to keep the hope out come transfer day.

Other than that, took a sample for gravity reading (before adding the hops of cause) and bang on 1020, so the hops will hopefully add both flavour and aroma over the next 10-14 days seeing as it still has a bit to go to get to at least 1010.
They’ve definitely changed this kit a bit. I had 650g of brewing sugar and the hops were in pellet form that were crushed in water and then added. For future reference, if you’re adding fresh hops in a bag, sterilise a couple of marbles and put them in the bag to sink it. That said, I’m sure it will be fine - hope you like the finished result as much as I do!
 

Dave 666

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They’ve definitely changed this kit a bit. I had 650g of brewing sugar and the hops were in pellet form that were crushed in water and then added. For future reference, if you’re adding fresh hops in a bag, sterilise a couple of marbles and put them in the bag to sink it. That said, I’m sure it will be fine - hope you like the finished result as much as I do!
Cheers & noted for future reference. Just realised I did have a hop sock here, just need some weights ready in case the next kit is whole hops. If as I suspect the whole hops don't all settle at the bottom of the fv I'm unsure on my options, maybe a simple hop sack over the end of the syphon tube should work.
 

Dave 666

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Hmm, sorting through a few things today from the house move I came by a load of ingredients I'd forgot about. Including a few unopened packs of hops, one of which is a 100g pack of Citra!!!. Half tempted to dry hop this further in the week and adding say 25-50g dry in a sack weighed down for a week or so for more aroma purposes than anything. Don't really want to mess with this kit, but citra based which I love and I've found a spare 100g of it.
 

Dave 666

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Another 8 days in and fermentation is still going if slowing down the last day or so. Temps remain between 16-18° so the time is not an issue. I'll give it another 3 days I think & then take a reading, though when adding the hops 8 days ago it was already at 1020 & with a target 1010 I'll be surprised if it has much more to go to reach that by now.

Hopefully the fact that it was whole hops than pellets added directly into the brew won't cause to much of an issue. The plan is once fg is reached next week to bring the temp up to rest it then crash it for 2-3 days (hoping a full size fv will fit in the under counter fridge for this) to clear it as much as I can before kegging it.
 

Dave 666

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Well, I couldn't resist a quick peak just to see how it looks. And all, and I mean all, the hops are floating on the top like a thick carpet!. In some ways this will help remove the bulk at some point after fg has been reached, just scoop em out.

I guess it makes sense to scoop out what I can prior to crashing unless there is reason to leave them in up to the point of kegging?. Just a pain to see that barring any finer hop particles that everything looks to be floating.
 

GhostShip

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Well, I couldn't resist a quick peak just to see how it looks. And all, and I mean all, the hops are floating on the top like a thick carpet!. In some ways this will help remove the bulk at some point after fg has been reached, just scoop em out.

I guess it makes sense to scoop out what I can prior to crashing unless there is reason to leave them in up to the point of kegging?. Just a pain to see that barring any finer hop particles that everything looks to be floating.
Probably too late looking at the date of your post, but personally, I wouldn't try to scoop the hops out prior to kegging. The one thing you don't want in your beer now is oxygen and no matter how careful you are, you're bound to stir things up a bit.

If you syphon it through a muslin bag, you'll catch all of the hop debris.
 

GhostShip

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Went out to the shed this morning to bring some President's Sierra in for tonight and to my absolute horror, I have only three bottles left!

I will do this kit again, but in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy those three tonight!
 

S.R.S

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Looks like you have all had good results with this kit.
Unfortunately my experience has not been quite the same.
I have been carbonating the bottles for nearly 4 weeks and there is little carbonation and no head.
Could be a number of reasons and I pretty much stuck to the instructions except for leaving it in the FV for a little longer.
My only thought is I pitched the yeast into the wort at 26c which was probably too hot so may have killed some of the yeast off in which case I didnt have enough to carbonate with.
There was a gravity drop from 1.054 to 1.020 in the 1st 3 days so it was pretty aggressive then it stuck at 1.012 which is above the suggested fg.
It's also quite dark so potentially oxidized and a little sweet.
I'm not sure I would try this kit again but always willing to learn by my mistakes.
 

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